I'd like an easy way to keep track of what I need to do on a seasonal, annual, and 5-year basis to ensure my home is functioning well. I'm looking for a way to keep track of when the last time various systems were serviced and/or what I need to do in the next month. How do you keep track of your maintenance cycles and tasks? [more inside]
Weird electrical issues (or possibly poltergeist) in my kitchen that are making my microwave and stove not function optimally. [more inside]
I'm trying to hook up my smart thermostat, but it needs a wire that isn't currently connected at the furnace. Am I doing the right thing? [more inside]
Basically my idea is to dig a groove the depth of the strip into the wall so the strip is flush. [more inside]
We moved into our little one-story house in Toronto a few months ago and one thing that came up on the home inspection was that our pot lights are not covered by vapour boots. Since then, I spoke to an insulation guy about upgrading the insulation in the attic and he suggested that instead of putting in vapour boots, switching all the pot lights to LED would be more affordable/easier; he suggested replacing the halogens with LEDs as they burnt out. Well, one bulb has burned out. I'm confused about the replacement choices. [more inside]
Bought an LED light fixture. Only now noticed the instructions say "must be mounted on ceiling". Can I mount it on a wall anyway? [more inside]
I've just moved into a new (to me) house. (The house itself is old and quite funky.) I brought with me my extant Macbook Pro (most-recent vintage). I'm finding that when my computer is fully charged and the charging cable is plugged in (green light), the house lights flicker. [more inside]
I bought a Waterpik about three years ago but never took it out of the box until tonight. There is a recessed port with two brass-colored prongs at the base of the device, for charging. Upon inspection, I discovered that the prongs were covered in weird gunk. [more inside]
I'm moving into a house that is almost entirely 2 prongs. Sure there are 3->2 prong adapters. But is there a safer way to use these outlets without tearing up the walls? Are there any relevant safety gadgets out there?
I need to temporarily (20 minutes to a week) attach a test lead to a gold pad on one side of a printed circuit board. The gold pad is about 10 mm in diameter and the center is about 12 mm from the edge of the board. There are surface mount components on the other side of the board, so an alligator clip would be sub-optimal. The input signal is a few millivolts. [more inside]
I have recently bought a flat (yay!). I had an electrician in today to look at some broken appliances (the hob, fridge and bathroom fan), and while checking things out he noticed that the voltage of the power in the house was unusually high (248-250V), possibly because I'm close to the transformer, and he confirmed that this could shorten the life of electrical devices. He mentioned that you can now buy a gadget to add to your electrics to step down the voltage to a more normal level, like ~220V. Is it true that a high-ish voltage can cause problems, and does anyone have any experience of the voltage-fixer he mentioned? I'm in the UK.
So I managed to get myself a job in a busy factory as an electrically biased maintanance man and need resources to help me become more up to scratch with what im dealing with. [more inside]
Why would using an American electrical device on European voltage cause it to short out circuits at home when I plug it in again after coming home to the US? [more inside]
Hanging a new pendant light fixture, simple, but can you help explain this wiring? [more inside]
My car (2012 BMW 328i xDrive Wagon E91 LCI) has two quirks: 1) battery warning after turning off the car, even after extended drives (never BEFORE starting the car) 2) brake wear warning after car has been parked in the cold for several hours (disappears after warming car up) [more inside]
I came in tonight and lights are flickering, as is the orange light in the surge protector that the printer/puter/tv is plugged in to. When I put it under a load at all IE if I print something, the lights *really* flicker. What is this about? [more inside]
Is the control panel on my gas oven really completely fried after switching the breaker on and off? How can I prevent this in the future? [more inside]
I am getting conflicting opinions on when you can (and can’t use) CFL and LED lights indoors, especially with a flush mount light fixture. I am more confused now that ever. If someone can offer some insight, it would be great. [more inside]
I'm trying to set up several micro USB charging stations in my house and car, and I'm realizing that I retain very little from 9th-grade Intro To Electronics. Set me straight on how current works? [more inside]
My husband is 28, has a Masters in Sound Engineering, and is trying to figure out what the next steps in his career are. Does he stay in music or move to something else that can put his skills working with electrical components to use? details inside. [more inside]
The rubbery casing on my MacBook's charger just split after 6 months of use. I bought this one after the same thing happened to my last one. It's not splitting in the high strain zone near the body of the adapter, but part way down the cord. What's the best way to prevent the cord from splitting further? I've tried electrical tape previously, but it doesn't hold up well and leaves a lot of goopy adhesive behind. Thanks!
Does anyone know anything about electricity? Here's the situation. About a week ago, the overhead lights in my dining room and living room went out simultaneously -- we saw it happen. There is another light (kitchen overhead) on that circuit that is now out as well. I think it was turned off at the time, so we only noticed it later, but I am guessing it went out at the same time as the others. [more inside]
Need help wiring a dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit. [more inside]
My wife removed the stereo from our 2006 Renault Scenic to extract a coin that had been stuffed in the CD slot by one of our lovely children. This wasn't the first time she'd done this, and there haven't been any problems in the past. However, upon returning the unit this time, the dash controls for the stereo were found not to work, only those on the steering column. She removed the unit again, checked the fuses, replaced the unit - and now the bloody air conditioner is dead. [more inside]
I replaced a ceiling light in a 1950's-wired apartment. There are insulated black and neutral wires, but no ground connection (fixture has ground wire but just connected it to mounting bar). If wired backwards, what happens when I flip the switch? When I touch the fixture while power and/or switch are on? [more inside]
One of the power windows in my car has stopped rolling up. The windows are controlled by a dual switch in the center console. The driver's side works, and the passenger "down" works, but the passenger "up" switch does not. I tried replacing it with a new switch I ordered online, and was able to get the window 90% up, but then that new switch abruptly stopped working. Is this likely to be a case of a bad part, or is there something wrong with my electrical system? More details below. [more inside]
So, my apartment complex installed a new exhaust fan in our unit. This is great! it's powerful and will be an excellent addition to the kitchen! However, they inconveniently placed the switch for the fan about 2 inches too low for comfort (pictures inside). When the oven is pushed in the switch gets covered up. Is this the sort of thing I can move myself? Or is this the sort of thing I should pay an electrician for? How much? (And for the sake of argument, let's assume my apartment complex is fine with me doing this.) [more inside]
I'm toying with the idea of DIYing a version of this ceiling lamp. Can anyone tell me the technical name for the pivoting/rotating/swiveling T joints, as Googling combinations of that phrase is not giving me similar connectors? [more inside]
We have this furnace. In the summer it would be nice if we could run only the fan (We don't have central air), but according to the manual, Fan Only Mode requires the R and G thermostat contacts be wired. As you can see, only the RC/RH and W contacts are wired. Would simply swapping the orange wire from RC/RH to RH/G create the circuit needed for sweet, sweet fan action, or will it be necessary to run a new wire from G to the control board in the furnace, therefore requiring professional help? [more inside]
While snooping around my basement today I found a strange little box/connector of some sort that I have no idea what it is. It looks really old (the house is ~90 years old) and isn't currently connected to anything. It seems to correspond to the incoming phone line from the outside box, but I could be mistaken. Can anyone tell me what exactly this is? [img inside] [more inside]
YANM medical billing professional, but I need help in getting my very expensive, recently-out-of-warranty electric wheelchair fixed. I live in NY, have (crappy) private insurance ( Oxford Liberty) through my mother's job and Medicaid due to a cerebral palsy diagnosis. My chair ( an Invacare model) was provided through my previous insurance and OL isn't accepted by the contractor that provided it. They take Medicaid, but refuse to put in a claim and keep passing the buck. I can't leave my house. What do I do? [more inside]
I have a Frigidaire dehumidifier with a short (when I plug it in, it trips the fuse on any house circuit I try). Should I try to fix it, or is it likely to be unobvious? I'm not particularly handy, but I don't mind taking something apart. Is it safer/better to simply dispose of it? If so, is it recyclable?
When I'm sitting in the room with the breaker box to my house, I hear a series of short buzzes, like "bzzzt." The noise seems to be coming from the breaker box, and I notice that a faceplate to one of the switches is missing (breakers were last switched off a month or two ago, when new heat pump was installed.). Here is (or should be) the image (if not, there's just copper surface where the breaker faceplate should be):
I'm interested in adapting this tutorial and this tutorial into a dress design. Basically, I want to keep the accelerometer as part of the design, but have lower profile lights and reduce the number of lines to two or three, somehow... I could solder two extra beads (right?) on but it would look better with just two or three beads/lines. What can I do? The accelerometer isn't super-required since I can just program sparkles, so losing that isn't completely off the table. [more inside]
I have a BS in Computer Engineering, albeit with a low GPA and no internships or experience. How do I get a job? [more inside]
What is the easiest, cheapest, least intrusive way to have a light go on in my basement when someone pushes a button at my front door? [more inside]
One of our circuit breakers tripped, and it won't return to its "on" position. I push it toward "on," but it doesn't stay, just returns to a middle position between on and off. It serves only a single hallway in the home, and nothing is plugged in there. Does the breaker need to be replaced? Should I call an electrician?
I don't really understand the utility industry very much but I've noticed some electric companies are very responsive to getting lines up from damage and have crews out at 2 a.m., and others don't even start work until the next day. What motivates them? Is it primarily loss of earnings from all the meters not running? Are there regulatory performance expectations? Or is there some sort of precedent in litigation that would put them at fault for underperforming? [more inside]
I would love some suggestions for science experiments with the Cambridge BrainBox electronics kit. [more inside]
I'm in the due diligence period of buying a house built in 1964. It's in Atlanta. The inspection yesterday went well, but the house has a fuse box and a breaker panel (the breaker handles AC and washer/dryer only). I know absolutely nothing about electric/wiring issues or systems. [more inside]
I need some help figuring out the wiring in my switched ceiling junction box in order to connect a basic light fixture. In the box I have three pairs of black/white wires and one yellow wire. My fixture has one pair of black and white wires. [more inside]
I am attempting to add one electrical outlet to my attic wiring. After installation there is enough power to the outlet to set-off a wire tester but not enough power to run anything plugged into the outlet. If there are any electricians or experienced DIY'ers around who could take a look at the wiring diagrams I made and see if anything is obviously wrong it would be much appreciated. Or, if you know of any forums where I could post the diagrams for help that would be good too. [more inside]
My monorail track lighting stopped working. All of the lamps work if I push a little on one of the lampshades (making better contact with the track or something?) but only for as long as I'm pushing. I have already tried removing all the lamps from the railing, cleaning the railing and the contacts of the lamps, and making sure they are all screwed on as tightly as possible, as well as making sure the thingees that hold up the track are all screwed in as tightly as possible also. What should I be trying next? Thank you!
I heard this weird buzzing sound coming from my basement today, and I eventually opened up the ceiling and traced it to this transformer or something that's up in there. I tapped it with a piece of non-conductive material and it stopped buzzing. Tapped it again, it started buzzing more quietly, and then I tapped it again and it was silent. Anyone have any idea what this is, and why it's there? The house is from 1952 and doesn't have any electrical issues that I know of. Pictures: Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3
We had planned to replacing an old ceiling light fixture (70's?) in our 1927 home, and after carefully taking down the old light, have uncovered this mess. We'll be calling our electrician on Monday, but in the meantime, can someone explain what we're looking at? [more inside]
We had an electrical incident where I work a couple of nights ago, and I'm trying to wrap my brain around it. Our house engineers have maintained systems at 150 amps on legs with 200 amp fuses. The power company reported a power dip, shortly after which we blew two of the 200 amp fuses. What happened? We had a drop in available voltage, so our amperage demand shot up? [more inside]
Looking for electrical enclosure CAD software on a budget. I would appreciate your recommendations. [more inside]
I have a multimeter, and a I have a hub dynamo built into my bike wheel. I want to attach the multimeter probes to the wires that power my front light, and see what, if any, power comes through those wires when I spin the wheel. What do I set on the multimeter to see that happen? PS: I know nothing about electricity.
Is there a method or device that will determine the amp rating of a fuse? I know that most fuses are marked with their specific amp rating, but I really need a way to verify. These are standard 5mm and 6.3mm fuses used in consumer level audio equipment. TIA
Why is my oven crackling and sparking at the on/off switch and will it start a fire in my wall? [more inside]